Okay, let me just get it out of the way and say up front that I was not a fan of last year’s Dredd. Maybe it’s because I’d already been spoiled by the outrageous humor of Attack the Block and the incredible over-the-top action of The Raid: Redemption, but by the time the adaptation of the 2000 A.D comic series came along, it not only had a real feeling of “been there done that”, but it simply seemed soulless and by-the-numbers in comparison to the two earlier films. I was also turned off by the (admittedly well done, but simply not to my taste) slow motion gore fest fight scenes which substituted a computer graphics created bloodfest for the brutally realistic looking martial arts that were especially on display in Raid. I suppose there were just as many computer aided effects in Attack the Block, but when your adversaries are giant aliens as opposed to actual people, that seems a bit more forgivable. Whatever the case, by what felt like the 243,971st time I saw someone get taken out by a punch in the throat with the same slow motion attention to detail that one might extend when one is, say, stroking the face of a lover, only more impacttful and with considerably more blood and gore – this movie really is pretty much the definition of violence porn – I decided to actually exercise my option and walk out of the theater. Yeah, that’s how much I disliked the movie.
However, all that being said, I actually kind of like the concept and setting of the Judge Dredd universe. I actually think there’s a lot of potential there, and the sheer longevity and continued popularity of the comics that it’s based on obviously bears that out. I think, in the end, it was simply the execution of this film that turned me off.
Which brings us, finally, to another Judge: Judge Minty. Minty is another character who comes from the Dredd comics, and his adventures are set in the same universe. Created by Mick McMahon, the Minty strips seem to have been created to answer the question “What happens when a Judge gets too old to effectively patrol the MegaCities?”. There are really only two options open: teach in the Academy, training new Judges, or head outside the city, into the lawless area known as the Cursed Earth, and try to tame at least some part of that.
Perhaps it’s my love for westerns that also draws me to the Minty concept, because let’s face it, what is the Cursed Earth if not a twist on the wild, wild west? Still, I don’t think John Wayne ever had to go up against opponents like Minty’s. Of course, he never had a weapon like Minty’s either, so I suppose these things balance out.
Obviously, I think there’s a lot of potential for a film about Minty, and I’m pleased to be able to say that there is one. I’m even more pleased to say you don’t have to rush down to your local megacinema and plunk down $12 or so to see it. Judge Minty is actually a 27 minute “Fan Film” written by Steven Sterlacchini & Michael Carroll and directed by Sterlacchin. It stars Edmund Dehn as Minty, and was made “with the kind permission of 2000 AD and Rebellion“, who have also given their consent for public screenings at festivals and conventions, and also apparently for the film makers to post their creation to YouTube.
This is easily the kind of project that could have been shut down at any step along the way, but thankfully it wasn’t, because the end result is quite fantastic, especially considering the budget that the film makers had to work with. I have to say that I really give a lot of love to anyone who can take what is obviously a labor of love and not simply a grab for profit and turn out such a good film.
Okay, I really could say a lot more, but really all you need to know from me is that I highly recommend watching the film. And fortunately, you can. Just do the clicky click thing below:
- ‘Dredd’ Sequel “Not Off the Agenda,” According to Karl Urban (slashfilm.com)
- Coming from IDW – Judge Dredd Classics (2000ad.wordpress.com)
- Movie Review: Dredd (2012) (johnreviewsmovies.wordpress.com)